BlackBerry Board Forms Special Committee To Strategize On Potential Sale And Company’s Future

 @natrudy
on August 12 2013 10:27 AM

The board of directors of BlackBerry Ltd (TSE:BB) announced the formation of a special strategic committee on Monday to explore joint ventures, partnerships or a potential sale of the company, all to boost sales of its BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

In its news release, BlackBerry said that there isn’t any guarantee that this will result in a transaction. The company doesn’t plan to release more information on the committee’s work until the board approves a specific transaction or the committee completes its review.

The chairman and CEO of BlackBerry’s largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (TSE:FFH), also resigned from the board, citing potential conflicts of interest. Fairfax CEO Prem Watsa said that Fairfax has “no current intention of selling its shares.”

“We have a strong balance sheet and we are pleased with the progress that has been made in our transition,” said BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins in a statement.

Reuters reported on a potential private takeover of BlackBerry on Friday.

It’s unclear if BlackBerry will have an easy time finding buyers among private equity firms or others.

BlackBerry suspended trading in its shares briefly on Monday morning as the announcement was made, with trades resuming at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

Twitter exploded with speculation and comments from traders and others following the announcement.

As many interpreted the announcement with BlackBerry simply putting itself up for sale, one patent expert wrote:

BlackBerry never proved in litigation or licensing that its #patents are particularly valuable. If it had, it would come in handy now. $BBRY â€” Florian Mueller (@FOSSpatents) August 12, 2013

 

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